Author Topic: Memories of the B&HRR  (Read 6186 times)

Bernard Selling

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Memories of the B&HRR
« on: July 05, 2009, 11:18:19 AM »

New voice here. My name is Bernard Selling. Long time summer "rusticator" in the Bethel area. My folks owned a place on Songo Pond, known as the Baker place, since 1935. Here's a story for you.

On VJ Day, 1945, when I was seven years old, the town of Bethel celebrated the end of the war by going a little mad, but in a good way. Among other things, we kids rode the town fire engine all over the town (on two wheels, as I remember). The next day many of us rode in Joe Hamel's flat bed truck to a lake where we then had a picnic. I recall seeing railroad ties but no track. As my dad loved trains and took me thousands of miles to see one (therefore, I loved them, too), I wondered where this happened. I never thought to ask either my mom or dad where this happened while they were alive.

Fast forward to 1972. At age thirty four, I have a wife and kids of my
own. On a trip to Boothbay Harbor we stop at the railroad museum, I pick up a copy of Maine two-footers and look at a map of the B&H. 'Ah, ha,' I think to myself. 'Hancock Pond.' A few days later we set out for Hancock Pond and I am able to find what I think is the exact spot where the picnic took place twenty five years before.

The following summer, I brought my 16mm camera with me on our summer outing to Maine. The family traversed many of the spots along the route and I recorded all this with my camera. Eventually I put the shots together in a ten minute film entitled "Little Train, Little Train"--which told the story of the B&H. I gave copies to the Bridgton Historical Society, to the Bethel Historical Society and to the
Maine R.R. museum in Portland.

When I was in Maine four or five years ago, the Maine R.R. museum was still showing the film. Hope you enjoyed this little story.

I love the idea that Bridgton is thinking about getting the B&H back in operation. I often wondered why it hadn't happened before. Seems as if there is a lot of energy all over the country to restore narrow gauge operations, especially where there is access to original locomotives. Out here in California, the folks up in Bishop are restoring their narrow guage Southern Pacific locomotive to operating condition, building track, etc.

Mike Fox

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Re: Memories of the B&HRR
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 08:19:40 PM »
Thanks for the story. Now I will have to view the film again.
Doing way too much to list...